Virgil van Dijk injury: What happened in the 13 matches he's missed since joining Liverpool

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Liverpool are coming to terms with the fact Virgil van Dijk may not play again this season.

The defender suffered a serious ACL injury during the Merseyside Derby on Saturday following a horrific challenge from Jordan Pickford.

Van Dijk will now require surgery while Liverpool have refused to put a timeframe on his return. However, it’s believed he could be ruled out for anywhere between six to 12 months.

How on earth do Liverpool cope without arguably the best defender in world football?

Well, we’ve decided to take a look at the 13 matches Van Dijk has missed since he joined the club in January 2018 to give us some sort of indication.

Let’s take a look at what happened when Van Dijk was absent.

Man City (H) | Premier League | January 2018
Result: 4-3

Van Dijk got his Liverpool career off to a dream start with a winner in the Merseyside derby days after joining. But he arrived with a bit of a thigh problem and subsequently missed the next Premier League match. Liverpool didn’t miss him too much as they became the first side to beat Manchester City in the league. They did concede three times, though.

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Huddersfield (A) | Premier League | January 2018
Result: 3-0

Despite his debut heroics, Van Dijk took a little while to get up to speed. Liverpool had just lost to Swansea and the defender was left on the bench for the visit to Huddersfield. They kept a clean sheet and won 3-0 in his absence.

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Porto (H) | Champions League | March 2018
Result: 0-0

Liverpool had won the first leg of their last-16 tie against Porto 5-0 and Jurgen Klopp, therefore, made changes for the clash at Anfield. Van Dijk wasn’t needed as they eased through to the last eight.

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Chelsea (H) | League Cup | September 2018
Result: 1-2

Van Dijk was left out of the League Cup third-round clash against Chelsea and a much-changed Liverpool side lost 2-1 thanks to Eden Hazard’s wonder goal.

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Wolves (A) | FA Cup | January 2019
Result: 1-2

The defender was also absent for the third round tie against Wolves, where Liverpool lost 2-1 without him.

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Bayern Munich (H) | Champions League | February 2019
Result: 0-0

Liverpool fans probably feared the worst when Van Dijk was suspended for the last-166 second leg against Bayern Munich. Robert Lewandowski must have been licking his lips. But both sides settled for a 0-0 draw before Liverpool went to Germany and won 3-1 with Van Dijk back in their back line.

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MK Dons (A) | League Cup | September 2019
Result: 2-0

Liverpool didn’t need Van Dijk to ease past League One MK Dons in the League Cup third round.

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Arsenal (H) | League Cup | October 2019
Result: 5-5 - Liverpool win on penalties

Conceding five goals? Would never have happened with Van Dijk in the back line. A young Liverpool side beat Arsenal on penalties though.

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Aston Villa (A) | League Cup | December 2019
Result: 0-5

This match happened just 24 hours before Liverpool’s Club World Cup semi-final. Van Dijk and the rest of the first-team were in Qatar preparing, allowing a very youthful side the chance to represent Liverpool’s first-team.

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Monterrey (N) | Club World Cup | December 2019
Result: 2-1

He may have been in Qatar but Van Dijk sat out of the Club World Cup semi-final win against Monterrey, where Jordan Henderson filled in at centre-back.

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Everton (H) | FA Cup | January 2020
Result: 1-0

Klopp controversially fielded a weakened side to face Merseyside rivals in the FA Cup. It paid off as Curtis Jones’ screamer sealed a memorable win.

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Shrewsbury (A) | FA Cup | January 2020
Result: 2-2

Van Dijk didn’t play in the next round either as another weakened Liverpool side failed to beat League One Shrewsbury.

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Shrewsbury (H) | FA Cup | February 2020
Result: 1-0

He didn’t play in the replay either as Liverpool scraped through.

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So, without Van Dijk, Liverpool have a win rate of 54% – seven wins, three draws, and three defeats. However, that stat is swayed by the fact most of the matches Van Dijk missed came in cup competitions where Klopp made many changes.

The fact is, Liverpool will be worse off without one of - if not the - best defender in world football.

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